Monday, 27 October 2014

From Kona to Calgary

I had planned on writing this blog about five hours ago. My plans were interrupted by a "short nap". My definition of a "short nap" seems to be changing these days, although in defense of myself, it was after a red eye flight from Maui to Calgary; I finally got to my apartment at about 8:30 AM and thought I would rest for a couple of hours, perhaps until about noon at best. Noon rolled by while I was fast asleep, then 1:00 PM, and 2:00 PM. By 3:00 PM I was moving about. At 4:00 PM I thought about getting up, and by 4:45 PM I finally made it.

Yesterday was a bit of a slog, in traveling terms. Our flight from Kona to Kahului, on Maui, was at 4:55 PM Hawaii time. We spent our morning packing and then went for lunch at the local restaurant in the small boat harbour just down the hill from the hotel. The security folks from the hotel took Emma in a golf cart so she wouldn't have to walk down the hill; I just let it roll. On the way back, the security folks once again came for Emma and they sent someone along to push me up the hill; I just let it roll.

Ukule, the Hawaiian word for "fish", is the kind of place I like, with ordinary people eating simple food, usually with an outdoor patio; here in Keauhou Bay the whole restaurant is outdoors, except for the food preparation areas. Birds flit in and out, skipping along below the tables looking for scraps, stealing bits from the tables. Insects also buzz about, seeking the sugar in the many rum variety drinks served with local fish. A mongoose dashes across the street, chasing nothing or being chased by something, I am not sure which.

After a lazy and long lunch, we headed for the airport, checking in with Ohaha Airlines, a regional affiliate for Hawaiian Air. Once again I was asked about a dozen times if I could walk. Once again I answered "no" each time. Once again my comments about "cannot stand" were forgotten or not read or simply ignored by the airport staff. Once again the handrail of the seat would not go up. Once again I was lifted over it, like a sack of potatoes. It's getting to be routine.

The flight to Maui was uneventful, and short. About 10 minute after take-off we started our landing approach, ending it with a successful arrival at Kahului Airport. Once again the staff were unaware that I needed to be taken off with assistance in the "aisle chair". Once again I was asked if I could stand. Once again I was lifted over the unmoving seat rail.

When we were inside the airport, the young man assisting us gave us a bit of a fright, telling us that he didn't think Air Canada had a flight to Vancouver on Sundays, only Saturdays. Since we had a ticket, I suspected he was incorrect. Sure enough one of his co-workers corrected him, saying it was the start of the Air Canada winter schedule.

Boarding of the flight home actually went much better, although once again I was asked repeatedly if I could stand. Emma took charge on this one and simply told the flight crew not to ask me that question. On the plane, the handrail lifted. The ground crew had checked it beforehand after I related my prior experiences. The flight itself, all in darkness, was completely uneventful. On deplaning, only one person asked if I could stand; I got a little short with her and she got defensive, so I eased up and explained my frustration. She continued with defensiveness so I just let it go. I had no fight left in me.

What with arriving at 7:00 AM, the wait to get off the plane, customs, and finally Calgary traffic in the morning, I got home at about 8:15. I debated writing and thought to myself "Perhaps I should just sleep first, just until noon." And that's how I got here.

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